The Nashville Predators fell 2-0 to the St. Louis Blues in the final game of the regular season. The loss dashed all hopes Nashville had of a home playoff series, and they can now finish anywhere between 5th and 7th depending on the outcomes of tonight's games. However, the loss may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Nashville, as the Predators were brought back to earth. Tonight showed that, while the Predators have done some great things the last couple of weeks, there is still work to be done if Nashville wants to make a run this post-season.
Some post-game thoughts and video highlights after the jump:
NHL.com highlights are being weird tonight, but you can follow this link to watch the individual plays.
- Well, that wasn't. It almost felt like Nashville stepped onto the ice expecting to win tonight, and you simply can't do that in the NHL.
- Nashville's two best chances came from Patric Hornqvist. The first one came off of a beautiful pass from Mike Fisher that Hornqvist couldn't put home, and the second was a rebound chance towards the end of the third. Geoffrion's line also had a few bright moments, but in the end the Predators put up a lackluster performance on the offensive end, and couldn't get anything by Jaroslav Halak, who has been a Preds killer this year.
- The lineup tonight was puzzling, and one has to question Trotz' decision-making tonight. I can see why O'Reilly sat, we don't really know how healthy he is yet, but Sullivan played the night before, and with it being the last chance to get some playing time before the playoffs, one would think he should've taken the ice.
- TJ Oshie's goal was definitely one for the highlight reel. Oshie took a pass in the crease after falling to his knees, and slid a backhander right by Pekka Rinne.
- For all the brilliant plays Jonathan Blum has made this season, he made a pretty boneheaded one at the end of the game tonight, attempting to send a pass in front of the net that was promptly put home by Alexander Steen. Those are the plays that Nashville's youngsters can't make if they want to have a chance in the post-season. I don't need to remind Preds fans what happens when you make an errant pass late in a game. That being said....
- Nashville's defense did a better job tonight in the shots against department, giving up only 25 a night after surrendering 45. Still, they have to cut down on the stupid plays.
- At the end of the night, however, the difference between these two teams is that one just played their last game of the season, and one's going on to the playoffs. All we can do now is sit back and watch the games tonight and tomorrow, and get ready for post-season hockey in Smashville.